Lithium Americas continues development work at Cauchari
2017-07-05 11:50 ET - News Release
Mr. Gabriel Rubacha reportsLITHIUM AMERICAS PROVIDES CAUCHARI-OLAROZ DEVELOPMENT UPDATE
Lithium Americas Corp. is providing an update on the
Cauchari-Olaroz lithium project in the province of Jujuy, Argentina.
Cauchari-Olaroz is 100-per-cent-owned by Minera Exar SA, a 50/50 joint
venture company between Lithium Americas and Sociedad Quimica y Minera
de Chile SA (SQM). On Thursday, June 29, 2017, senior executives
from Minera Exar, Lithium Americas and SQM attended a meeting in Buenos
Aires with government officials from Argentina, including the president
of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, and the governor of the province of Jujuy,
Gerardo Morales. All parties reaffirmed their commitment to support the
development of Cauchari-Olaroz.
Gabriel Rubacha, Lithium Americas' president of South American
operations, commented: "We are receiving full support from the federal
and provincial governments, and we are very pleased with the progress we
are making on the development of the project. There are over 100 people
on site today, and the Minera Exar organization is growing with the
recent recruitment of additional executive level personnel. Minera Exar
is proceeding with the development of the project and progressing with
the early construction activities following a timeline target of being
in production by 2019."
Patricio De Solminihac, chief executive officer of SQM,
commented: "We were pleased to meet with Mr. Macri and Mr. Morales to
discuss the importance of Cauchari-Olaroz, and the shared responsibility
and mutual benefits of investment and timely execution of development.
We shared with the president our plans for capital investment and
employment, and the construction timeline to achieve our production
targets. SQM is firmly committed to the advancement of the project and
to the success of Jujuy-based Minera Exar."
Increased activity at site: Development activity currently
continuing includes the campsite construction, additional hydrological
tests, drilling campaigns and testing pond liner materials at site.
Engineering and procurement continuing: We are developing the detailed
design as well as working with the evaluation of the first construction
Development schedule remains on track: The construction of
the first stage of 25,000 tonnes per annum of lithium carbonate
production capacity is expected to be completed in 2019.
Strong support from Argentine government: The Environmental Impacts
Report for Exploitation (EIS) issued in 2012 is in the process of being
updated. In March, 2017, the provincial government of Jujuy reaffirmed
in a letter that the EIS issued in 2012 is still valid and states that
"[...] construction may commence on the necessary infrastructure
approved in this permit, without prejudice to future adaptations and
updates that the mining operator performs with respect to the mining
project, which are subject to the analysis of this authority."
Over 100 employees in Argentina: Minera Exar currently employs over
100 staff in Argentina with recruiting for additional staff and
executives continuing. Total direct employment during the two-year
construction period is expected to total over 1,000 people.
To finance Lithium Americas' share of Cauchari-Olaroz capital costs,
on June 7, 2017, Lithium Americas closed on the strategic financing with
GFL International Co. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Jiangxi
Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd., agreeing to provide $172-million (U.S.) in
financing. With respect to the second financing of approximately
$112-million (U.S.) from BCP Innovation Pte Ltd., a wholly owned
subsidiary of Bangchak Corp. Public Company Ltd., closing is expected to
occur around mid-July.
As part of the Bangchak strategic financing, Chaiwat
Kovavisarach, Bangchak's president and CEO, has been included in the
management slate for the board of directors to be elected at the
company's upcoming annual general meeting on Aug. 14, 2017.
About Lithium Americas
Corp. Lithium Americas, together with SQM, is developing the
Cauchari-Olaroz lithium project, located in Jujuy, Argentina, through
its 50-per-cent interest in Minera Exar. In addition, Lithium Americas
owns 100 per cent of the Lithium Nevada project (formerly Kings Valley
project) and RheoMinerals Inc., a supplier of rheology modifiers for
oil-based drilling fluids, coatings and specialty chemicals.
We seek Safe Harbor.